Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vegetarian chili from J Kenji Lopez-Alt

3 whole sweet dried chilies like Costeño, New Mexico, or Choricero, stems and seeds removed
2 small hot dried chilies like Arbol or Cascabel, stems and seeds removed (optional)
3 whole rich fruity dried chilies like Ancho, Mulatto, Negro, or Pasilla, stems and seeds removed
1 quart water
2 whole chipotle chilies in adobo sauce with 2 tablespoons sauce from can
2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes packed in juice, mashed up with your hands. Or diced tomatoes.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon marmite or vegemite
2 (14-ounce) cans dark red kidney beans, drained, liquid reserved separately
2 tablespoons vodka or bourbon
Kosher salt
2 to 3 tablespoons masa

1. Toast the dried chiles in a big pot, until slightly darkened, 2-5 minutes but not smoking. Add the chipotles and 1 qt water, blend until smooth.
2. Drain chickpeas (save water), pulse in a blender a little bit.
3. Add tomatoes to chickpea water.
4. Saute onions until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, cook 30 seconds. Add pureed chilies, soy sauce, marmite, cook 30 seconds. Add chickpea water and tomatoes, chickpeas and kidney beans, stir.
5. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Add kidney bean liquid as necessary to keep it from drying out.
6. Add vodka or bourbon, salt to taste, and whisk in the masa in a steady stream. Cool, serve with cilantro, onions, scallions, avocados, lime, tortillas, whatever.

Source: (there is plenty more info there.)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Yu xiang rou si

Fish-fragrant pork slivers

A small handful of dried cloud ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 min
10oz boneless pork loin (~2 chops) with a little fat, cut into 1/8 inch slivers
2/3 cup bamboo shoots or 2 celery stalks
peanut oil
2 tbsp pickled chili paste
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 scallions, green parts, very thinly sliced

1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp potato flour or 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine

1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
3/4 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp potato flour or 1 1/8 tsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp stock or water

Mix marinade, add pork.
Blanch bamboo shoots in boiling water for a minute, rinse in cold water, then cut in fine strips to match pork. Or cut celery into thin strips, salt, wait 15 minutes.
Mix the sauce.
Heat oil, stir-fry pork. As soon as the strips separate, push them to one side, and put the chili paste into the wok. Stir fry briefly, then add garlic and ginger. Stir fry 30 seconds, until aromatic, then add bamboo and mushrooms and stir fry briefly until just hot.
Add the sauce. Add the scallions, serve.

Source: Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop

Gong bao ji ding

Gong bao chicken, or kung pao chicken

~2/3 lb chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic and about the same amount of ginger, thinly sliced
5 scallions, white parts, in about 1/2 inch chunks
2 tbsp peanut oil
~10 dried red chilies, de-seeded
1 tsp whole Sichuan pepper
2/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or medium dry sherry
1 1/2 tsp potato flour or 2 1/4 tsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water

3 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp potato flour or 1 1/8 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
3 tsp Chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chicken stock or water

Mix the marinade, put the chicken in it.
Combine the sauce in a separate bowl
Heat oil in wok. Add chilies and Sichuan pepper, stir fry briefly (don't burn spices). Add chicken and fry, stirring constantly. As soon as the cubes separate, add ginger, garlic, scallions, and fry for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked. Add the sauce, then the peanuts.

Source: Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop

Gan bian si ji dou

Dry fried green beans

10 oz green beans (or haricots verts)
peanut oil
3 oz ground pork
2 tsp shaoxing rice wine
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp ya cai or Tianjin preserved vegetable, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame oil

Trim beans, remove strings, break into ~2inch sections.
Heat oil in a wok, add beans, stir fry on medium for about 6 minutes until tender and a little puckered. Set aside.
Heat oil, add pork, stir fry about 30 seconds until cooked, add rice wine and soy sauce. Add ya cai, stir fry briefly, then add beans. Add salt to taste, sesame oil, and serve.

Source: Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop

Mapo doufu

AKA ma po to fu, ma po tofu, mapo tofu, or whatever else I might be text-searching for.

1 lb tofu
4 green onions or baby leeks, green parts, sliced at an angle into "horse ears"
4 tbsp oil
2 1/2 tbsp sichuan chili bean paste (douban jiang)
1 tbsp fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp ground red chilies
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup stock or water
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp potato flour + 2 tbsp cold water
ground roasted sichuan pepper

Cut tofu into 3/4 inch cubes and steep in hot, lightly salted water (not boiling).
Heat wok on high, add oil, reduce to medium, add chili bean paste and fry until it's red. Add black beans and chilies, then ginger and garlic. Don't overheat seasonings.

Remove tofu from water, put it in the wok. Mix it around gently so you don't break the cubes. Add stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer. Add green onions/leeks, and then the thickening flour+water mix as much as needed.

Top with sichuan pepper and serve.

Source: Every Grain of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

Monday, October 10, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookies, America's Test Kitchen recipe

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, (8 3/4 ounces)
½ teaspoon baking soda (mix it with the flour)
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, (1 3/4 sticks)
½ cup granulated sugar, (3 1/2 ounces)
¾ cups packed dark brown sugar, (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks (see note)
¾ cup chopped pecans, or walnuts, toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Brown 10 tbsp butter about 2 minutes after melting until dark golden brown and nutty smelling. Add the other 4 tbsp butter and melt.
Whisk the sugars, salt, and vanilla together. Add the egg and yolk and mix. Let it sit 3 min, then whisk for 30 seconds again, then wait 3 min and whisk 30 seconds again. Maybe one more time. Should be thick, smooth, and shiny.
Stir in flour and baking soda mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Divide into 16 cookies, bake one tray at a time, 10-14 min.

Dan's note: I'd make them smaller, these are huge. Maybe 32 cookies? They say the bigger cookies have a good mix of chewy and crispy. But man, they're too big.

Source: America's Test Kitchen,

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pumpkin Kootu

1/4 cup kala vatana (dried black peas)
salt to taste
2 1/2 cups chopped red pumpkin
1 tbsp coconut oil (or any other refined oil)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
5 curry leaves

To Be Ground Into A Smooth Paste:
3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
8 whole dry kashmiri red chillies, broken into pieces
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup water

Soak the kala vatana overnight. Drain well. Cook them: if you have a pressure cooker, combine the drained kala vatana and 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles. Otherwise just cook them for a while.

Grind the paste ingredients together, set aside.

Add the pumpkin, 1 cup of water and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 8 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Add the prepared paste, mix gently and cook on a medium flame for 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.

For the tempering, heat the oil in small pan and add the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds
Pour this tempering over the curry and mix well.